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Conversion to subversion

has always used the software
preferred by our clients and has made recommendations in some cases, mostly away
from Visual SourceSafe andits exclusive checkout or generally connected
nature. We had been using
for our own projects and even had it
setup in our online hosted environment for access from our offices and client
locations (asides from our own products, we also have open source and internal
APIs that our developer consultants would often need to access). We had
been hearing great things in the community about
Subversion and were eager to try it
out but not having an expert in the company meant we would have a learning
curve. Enter
– our new hire in November of 2005
– John joined our team biting his lip at having to use ourexisting source
control tools but firmly believed he could turn the tide towards his favorite
source control tool, Subversion.

After some unhappy source control experiences
(including lost source code), we decided to undertake an evaluation – our
objectives were:

  1. Try out Subversion with one project to see if it
    is an improvement over other source control tools
  2. Minimize the learning curve for
  3. Minimize developer downtime
  4. Maintain an online repository for access from
    various locations
  5. Minimize administration costs

We started out slowly by moving a single project
) ontothe new platform but
decided to use a turn-key service provided by
CVSDude (recommended by John based onhis previous experiences
with them) to meet our objectives.
CVSDude offersa free account for a single user or their a low
commitment baseplan “Developer” which allows 4 accounts for just $30 for 3
months. This meant that we didn’t have to maintain or configure the
Subversion server and could let someone else deal with backups and
uptime.Our Subversion server is now available online meaning that we
can access it from our offices and from client locations. By upgrading to
the “More Developer” plan, we were also able to get secure access (SSL) to our

We have been very happy with our evaluation of
Subversion and have subsequently made the decision to move all our product
projects to Subversion. We are using the
– whichuses Windows Explorer
as your interface to source control (using icon overlays) and you simply manage
your codebase from your filesystem. The separation of Visual Studio .NET
from the source control client also seems to be a move in the right direction –
VS.NET is more responsive and doesn’t have random pauses any more (we would
sometimes see 20-30 seconds pauses when working with source control
integration). I have also been impressed with the patch capabilities and
the labelling of the repository with a version on every checkin – this makes
reviewing work much easier and helps to keep track as tasks are

For John’s perspective on our conversion, read this.

Jonathan Cogley isthe CEO and
founder of thycotic, a .NET consulting company and ISV in Washington DC.
thycotic has just released
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Categories: ISV, Software Development
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